IT’S well recognised that hands-on learning is one of the best ways to interest students in their education, so it’s no surprise that the coastal school program at Sorrento Primary School is such a big hit.
All foundation (prep) students at the school spend one day each week at Point Nepean National Park as part of a program of discovery, exploration and learning.
Principal Elaine Lesiuk said the program, a natural progression from the “bush and beach” program run by Sorrento Preschool, had cross curriculum relevance and helped students develop a sense of identity and connectedness to the natural environment. Literacy and numeracy skills were taught and practiced through hands-on experiences and are linked to learning back in the classroom.
Lesiuk said teachers Kate Wills and Michelle Richens had noticed a significant increase in students’ resilience, self-confidence and engagement in learning as a result of implementing the coastal school program.
“Our students really look forward to coastal school. It’s wonderful seeing them actively engaged in everything they do, and they blow us away with their curiosity, perseverance and understanding of concepts that are traditionally not introduced to this age group,” she said.
“For example, students have started learning to read maps and to describe where they are going based on the cardinal directions on a compass.
“They show curiosity about native flora and fauna and the change of seasons and have been introduced to woodworking skills including sawing and whittling.”